One of the biggest cancers that affect many organizations all around the world is the ‘corporate free rider’. The dead beat corporate free riders are these unique breed of individuals that have no qualms of taking credit or been given credit for something they haven’t worked for or participated in. Their sole aim in their corporate careers is to do minimal work and spot the next big wave of success where they can suddenly show up with their surfing board and ride the wave. The sad part is that in many work places managers and HR turns a blind eye to this kind of behavior which in turn propels more of the same. Not only do free riders add to the dead wood in the organization but they also de-motivate other team members who don’t get recognized for their rightful work or have to share credit with non participatory members. It’s a problem that any organization, manager or team member needs to call out immediately before it affects the team where the real talent soon leaves and the only people left are incompetent people.
How to spot a free rider
- They show up when things start to look good and flee when things start to turn bad.
- Quick to own victory but quick to blame defeat on others.
- They are quick to show up at victory laps but always absent at execution.
- They always say ‘I always knew this would work’ when the team wins, and say ‘I told you so’ when the team loses.
But what they don’t know is that they can fool some people sometimes but they can’t fool all the people all the time. People will catch on to their agenda pretty quick and once trust is lost it takes a lot of effort to build it back. Some food for thought ha?